What exactly is Ketamine and how might it affect your employees? How does it work and what are its constituent ingredients, and how does it affect the mental and physical health of your employees? CMM Technology answers these questions in this latest article on this disturbing drug.
Ketamine is not a natural substance. It is a man-made and synthesised drug that that was first used legally in medical and veterinary settings. Its main functions were as an anaesthetic and also as an analgesic pain-killer. It is a prescription drug and possession without prescription is illegal.
Street names include Special K, kitkat, vitamin k, super k and Dorothy.
Both powdered and liquid forms of the drug are available on the streets. Powdered forms can be inhaled, taken by mouth or injected once mixed with water. It can also be smoked. Like most drugs the most rapid and strongest mode of absorption is intravenously or through intramuscular injection. The intramuscular taking of the drug is most popular with heavy users, as this mode bypasses the liver and associated problems that may occur long-term. The term k-hole refers to the peak Ketamine experience when the drug’s effect reaches its most powerful. Here, the body is virtually paralysed and there is a strong disconnection from self and from the physical realm.
How it works
This drug obstructs the nerve pathways whilst still allowing circulatory functioning and also breathing. It has a strange mix of both depressive and stimulant attributes and when it is used at very high doses it actually increases heart rate and blood pressure.
Short term and long term effects
The drug is primarily used to achieve a high. Short term effects include an increased heart rate, respiratory depression, euphoria, an increase in energy and a sense of spirituality, calm and even serenity. The mind feels as if it is dissociated from the body and there can also be significant changes in time-perceptions. Confusion and disorientation as well as nausea can also occur.
Long term effects include headaches and flashbacking, loss of smell, personality and mood changes, depression and memory and concentration impairment. Other cognitive attributes can be disrupted when the drug is used frequently over time.
While Ketamine is essentially a dance party drug and a recreational illicit drug, not commonly found in the workplace, the concern is that its short and long term impacts may disrupt your employees’ work patterns, procedures and performance. Make sure you educate your employees on the short and long term risks to health and monitor your employees with testing devices and approaches that can help to ensure your fitness for duty policy.
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